Should the Supreme Court strike down Roe v. Wade, 26 states are set to ban abortion, according to a 2021 analysis by the Guttmacher Institute, a nonpartisan reproductive health research group.

Exactly half have no mandate that schools teach sex education, data from the Institute reveals, and only four of the 26 require curricula to cover the topic of contraception. Twenty-three allow districts to skip over consent entirely.

Restricting abortion access in a country that already limits young people’s resources for learning about sexual health is “a horrifying picture,” said Cassandra Corrado, a sex educator who works with high school and college students in Florida, where an abortion ban now is expected.

“We’re going to have a lot of people being afraid of their own bodies and we’re going to have a lot of people turning to unreliable sources of information,” she told The 74.

Teens who receive comprehensive sex education are significantly less likely to have unwanted pregnancies than those who don’t get lessons on the topic or receive abstinence-only teachings, studies show. The five states with the highest rates of teen pregnancy — Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Alabama — are also among those set to outlaw abortion if Roe is overturned.

Nationwide, only 29 states and Washington, D.C. require public school students to receive any form of sex education and just 18 require such teachings to be medically accurate.

The state abortion bans have an inverse relationship with rules requiring comprehensive sex ed. Of the 26 states expected to enact abortion bans in the coming months, only Iowa, Tennessee and Utah mandate sexual education in school and require that lessons be medically accurate. South Carolina is the sole state among the 26 that orders schools teach sex education and also requires lessons on consent.

Read the full article about abortion bans and sex education by Asher Lehrer-Small at The 74.